Boyd Gordon sent back to Coyotes by Oilers for Lauri Korpikoski
Arizona GM excited to re-acquire 'excellent defensive centre'
The Edmonton Oilers have traded centre Boyd Gordon to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for forward Lauri Korpikoski.
Gordon was a steadying influence with Arizona from 2011-13, helping the Coyotes reach the 2012 Western Conference finals with his heady play, penalty killing and faceoff ability.
The Coyotes couldn't afford to keep Gordon after his contract expired in 2013, so he signed a three-year deal with the Oilers as a free agent.
The 31-year-old Gordon had six goals and seven assists in 68 games with the Oilers last season. He also led Edmonton and ranked 11th in the NHL in faceoff percentage (55.9).
"It was tough to leave Phoenix," Gordon said. "I heard the news today and I'm excited to come back."
Gordon had 12 goals and 25 assists through 123 games with the Coyotes from 2011-2013. He was originally drafted by the Washington Capitals in the first round (17th overall) in the 2002 draft.
"We are very pleased to re-acquire Boyd Gordon," Arizona Coyotes general manager Don Maloney said in a statement. "Boyd is an excellent defensive centre who is one of the league's best in the faceoff circle. He has a great work ethic and will add experience and leadership to our dressing room.
"We are excited to have him back."
The Coyotes had been waiting for Korpikoski to break out pretty much since he joined the team in 2009 after a season with the New York Rangers.
The Finnish left-winger showed glimpses of living up to the potential forecast for him, scoring 19 goals in 2010-11 and 17 in 2011-12. But he struggled last season, collecting six goals, one at even strength, and 15 assists in 69 games.
Korpikoski has 68 goals and 91 assists in seven NHL seasons. The Coyotes also signed forward Chris Cunningham to a one-year deal. He had three goals and four assists in 51 games with Boston and Arizona last season.
With files from The Associated Press